ICASSP 2023 Culinary experience

We’re thrilled to offer conference attendees a culinary experience that showcases the best of local flavors and traditions. All our meals include local specialties that highlight the unique tastes and ingredients of the region. We’re proud to provide options that cater to all dietary needs, including vegan options available in every meal. So whether you’re a foodie looking to indulge in traditional cuisine or a health-conscious eater seeking plant-based options, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your palate.


Below is a list of local edible pleasures that are included in ICASSP 2023 meals:


Indulge in the traditional flavors of Rhodes with our exquisite Melekouni. A staple at weddings on the island, this healthy sweet is beloved for its unparalleled taste and impressive nutritional value. Crafted with aromatic thyme honey, all-natural sesame, crunchy almonds, tangy oranges, and an assortment of spices, our Melekouni is a true feast for the senses.

Coffee Break


Experience the timeless flavors of Diples, a traditional Dodecanese dessert that boasts a rich history dating back generations. Diples are made with a simple yet irresistible dough crafted with only water and flour. The dough is expertly folded into various shapes and fried to perfection in hot oil, then topped with sweet honey and sprinkled with a generous helping of grated nuts and fragrant cinnamon. These delectable treats are typically served on special occasions, including weddings, engagements, and baptisms, and are especially popular on New Year’s Eve. Savor the taste of tradition and indulge in the deliciousness of our expertly crafted Diples.

Coffee Break


Pasteli is a traditional Greek food that remains popular to this day. It is often referred to as the first “energy bar” in history, and is not only a delicious delicacy, but also highly valued for its nutritional properties.

Sesame seeds, one of the main ingredients in pasteli, are remarkably high in essential minerals such as copper, manganese, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and fiber. They also contain tryptophan and vitamin B1.

Honey, the other main ingredient, is also an amazing food in itself. It is a natural sweetener that contains antioxidants, enzymes, and antibacterial properties. Honey is also known to have numerous health benefits, including soothing sore throats, improving digestion, and providing energy.

Together, sesame seeds and honey make up the perfect combination for a healthy and delicious snack. Pasteli is a prime example of how traditional foods can be both enjoyable and beneficial for our well-being.

Coffee Break


This Greek walnut cake is delicately scented with a blend of cinnamon and ground clove. It falls into the category of Greek desserts known as syropiasta, which means “bathed in syrup.” This category includes other beloved Greek sweets such as baklava.

The cake is typically made by layering walnuts between sheets of phyllo dough, which are then soaked in a sweet syrup made of honey, sugar, and water. The result is a moist and decadent treat that is bursting with flavor and texture.

Whether enjoyed as a dessert or a midday snack, this walnut cake is a classic example of the rich and delicious culinary traditions of Greece.

Coffee Break


Tsoureki is a traditional Greek sweet bread that is often enjoyed during holidays and special occasions, such as Easter. It is a rich and flavorful bread that is typically made with ingredients such as flour, sugar, yeast, eggs, butter, and milk.

What sets tsoureki apart is its distinct aroma and flavor, which come from the use of aromatic spices such as mastic and mahlab. These spices give the bread a unique and delicious taste that is hard to find in other types of bread.

Tsoureki is often shaped into a braided loaf or a wreath and decorated with colorful eggs or sesame seeds. It is a beloved part of Greek culinary traditions and is enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether enjoyed plain or toasted with a bit of butter, tsoureki is a delicious treat that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

Coffee Break

Greek semolina Halva

On Clean Monday, it is tradition to eat fasting dishes either in the countryside or at home with family and friends. In addition to these dishes, many Greek traditional sweets such as semolina halva are also vegan, as they do not contain any animal products.

Semolina halva and other traditional Greek sweets are made with simple and natural ingredients such as semolina, sugar, and olive oil. This makes them a healthy and delicious option for those who follow a vegan or plant-based diet, as well as for anyone who appreciates traditional Greek cuisine.

Whether enjoyed as a dessert or a snack, semolina halva is a beloved part of Greek culinary traditions and is often served during special occasions and holidays. Its rich and comforting texture, combined with its sweet and nutty flavor, make it a favorite among people of all ages.


Coffee Break


Fanouropita is a traditional Greek cake that is named after Saint Phanourios, the patron saint of Rhodes. Saint Phanourios is known as the saint of “lost things,” and his followers often bake the cake as an offering of gratitude after a lost object has been revealed or found.

The cake is said to have originated from a prayer offered by Saint Phanourios for the salvation of his mother’s soul. According to legend, his mother was a sinner who had lived a shameful life and was sent to hell. Saint Phanourios prayed fervently for her salvation, and eventually, she was saved.

As a way of honoring his mother’s salvation, Saint Phanourios’ followers began to bake a cake called “Propitiation,” which later became known as Fanouropita. The cake is typically made with simple ingredients such as flour, sugar, and olive oil, and is often flavored with cinnamon or other spices.

Today, Fanouropita is a beloved part of Greek culinary traditions and is often served during special occasions and holidays. Its rich history and unique flavor make it a favorite among people of all ages, both in Greece and beyond.

Coffee Break


Kaltsounia, also known as Lychnarakia, is one of the most popular Cretan recipes. These delicious pastries can be filled with either sweet or savory ingredients, and the pastry shell varies depending on the filling.

When filled with sweet ingredients, the pastry shell is typically made with a sweet dough, while savory kaltsounia are made with a more savory crust. The filling is usually made with a combination of myzithra (anthotyro) cheese, which is a soft Greek cheese, along with other ingredients such as cinnamon, vanilla, or lemon zest.

Myzithra cheese is a popular ingredient in Cretan cuisine, and it is known for its tangy and slightly salty flavor. It is a fresh cheese that is typically made from a combination of sheep’s and goat’s milk. It pairs perfectly with both sweet and savory fillings, making it a versatile ingredient in many Cretan dishes.

Kaltsounia are often served as a snack or appetizer, and they are a beloved part of Cretan culinary traditions.

Welcome Reception

Coffee Break


Mandolato is a sweet confectionery that has Italian origins and was introduced to the Greek islands during the Venetian rule. Although the rule has long passed, the Greek islands continue to make and enjoy mandolato, which has become a local delicacy.

The name “mandolato” comes from the Italian word for almond, “mandorla”, and refers to the main ingredient in the confectionery. Almonds are known for their numerous health benefits, including their positive impact on brain health.

Mandolato is similar to nougat and typically contains a mixture of nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts. The mixture is held together by a combination of egg whites and honey, which creates a chewy and delicious texture.

This sweet treat is often enjoyed during holidays and special occasions, and it has become a symbol of Greek island cuisine. Whether enjoyed as a snack or dessert, mandolato is a must-try for anyone visiting the Greek islands.

Coffee Break

Halvas with tahini

Halva is a popular snack that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Whether on its own or paired with bread, tea, coffee, or wine, halva offers a sweet and satisfying taste that is hard to resist.

Halva comes in many different textures and flavors, making it a versatile snack that can be enjoyed by everyone. Some popular variations of halva include those made with sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, or nuts like almonds or pistachios.

Apart from its delicious taste, halva is also known for its health benefits. It is a rich source of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals, making it a great snack option for those looking to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Whether enjoyed as a mid-day snack or a dessert, halva is a beloved treat that is enjoyed by people all over the world.


Coffee Break

Carob cookies

Carob cookies are a delicious and healthy snack that are made with carob flour and Greek Corinthian P.D.O. raisins. Carob flour is a naturally sweet and nutritious alternative to cocoa powder and is packed with fiber, calcium, and antioxidants. Corinthian raisins, which are grown in the sunny region of Corinth in Greece, are known for their rich flavor and are a popular ingredient in many Greek desserts.

Carob cookies are not only delicious but also a great source of energy and nutrients. They are perfect for a midday snack or a sweet treat after dinner. Plus, they are easy to make and can be stored for several days, making them a convenient and healthy snack option.

It’s interesting to note that in ancient Greece, carob seeds were used to measure the weight of gold, and the word “carat” actually derives from the ancient Greek word “keration,” which means carob. Today, carats are still used as a global unit of measurement for gold weight, a testament to the lasting influence of ancient Greek culture.


Coffee Break

Greek Salad Soup

In Greece, the mouth-watering Horiatiki salad is known as the “village” or “peasant” salad, consisting of a delightful combination of fresh tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, green peppers, olives, and feta cheese. The salad is perfectly dressed with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of oregano, making it a refreshing and tasty option for any occasion. For the welcome reception, the chef has prepared a unique variation of this classic salad, presenting it in the form of a cold soup.

Welcome Reception

Coffee Break

Rhodian “Pitaroudi”

Rhodes Island boasts a rich culinary heritage, and one of the most flavorful and aromatic dishes that you’ll find in its villages is the traditional “pitaroudia” recipe. This classic dish has been enjoyed for generations and is made with a variety of ingredients such as minced meat, chickpeas, zucchini, tomatoes, and more. Similar to a falafel, pitaroudia is seasoned with a delightful combination of fresh herbs such as pepper mint, dill, and parsley, which add a burst of aroma and flavor to every bite. To make it even more delicious, pitaroudia is often served with a side of strained yogurt, making for a perfect and satisfying meal.


Welcome Reception

Lunch Box

Chicken  “gyros”

Gyro, which is pronounced as “GHEE-ro” in Greek, is a delicious dish that is mainly made with thinly sliced pork meat. The meat is stacked tightly and cooked on a rotisserie, allowing the layers to meld together and create a perfect blend of flavors. Once the meat is cooked, the gyro is prepared by cutting paper-thin slices and stuffing them into a warm pita wrap along with fresh tomatoes, raw red onions, and parsley. To top it off, a generous dollop of tangy and creamy Greek tzatziki sauce is added, making each bite a heavenly experience.

Lunch Box

Eggplant salad “melitzanosalata”

Melitzanosalata, a Greek eggplant dip, is the perfect complement to any meat or fish dish and makes an incredible dip for crunchy vegetables, bread, and other finger foods. This delicious dip is made with roasted eggplants, a blend of fragrant herbs, and high-quality olive oil, resulting in a creamy and flavorful texture that is sure to satisfy your taste buds. With every bite, the subtle smoky flavor of the eggplant and the freshness of the herbs come together to create a delectable combination of flavors and aromas. Whether you’re hosting a party or enjoying a quiet night in, melitzanosalata is an excellent choice that is sure to impress.


Welcome Reception

Lunch Box

“Taramas” cream or Taramosalata

Taramosalata is a mouth-watering dip that is made from the salted and cured roe of cod or carp, and sometimes even grey mullet or bottarga. This velvety smooth dip is mixed with high-quality olive oil and lemon juice, creating a delectable blend of flavors that is sure to tantalize your taste buds. To give it the perfect texture, taramosalata is added to a starch base, which can be made using bread or potatoes. The result is a creamy, flavorful dip that is both savory and tangy, making it a perfect addition to any appetizer platter or as a dip for vegetables or pita bread. Whether you’re hosting a party or enjoying a quiet evening at home, taramosalata is a must-try dip that will leave you craving more.

Welcome Reception

Fish” savoro”

Indulge your senses with a flavorful and aromatic spicy sauce that has been a staple in Greek cuisine for centuries. Made with a blend of high-quality olive oil, tangy vinegar, fragrant rosemary, savory flour, and fresh garlic, this sauce is often accompanied by raisins and other aromatic ingredients that give it a distinct and unique flavor. Originally, this sauce was used as a way of preserving fish when there was no refrigeration available. The vinegar, which serves as the base for the sauce, acted as a preservative, while the rosemary provided disinfectant qualities. Fish were traditionally preserved in this sauce for up to a week, allowing the flavors to meld together and develop a truly irresistible taste. Today, this sauce can be found on all Greek islands and is still enjoyed with fried fish, providing a burst of flavor that is sure to delight your taste buds.

Welcome Reception

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